We were never able to have children it took me over 14 years to accept it. 4 months ago we moved my soon to be 83 yr old mother in law into our 2-story 1440 sq.ft. Home with us & our 2 beloved furkids..aka dogs.

I thought we were doing right thing but now already I've been losing my mind, my sanity, my privacy & even my identity. Coupled with me working from home full time since Covid I feel almost imprisoned & I'm sadly hiding out in my bedroom all day to avoid her downstairs all day & even evenings now after my husband gets home from work.

We have no privacy for anything let alone me feeling comfortable to have sex in my own home. I've been suffering hot flashes going thru hopefully final stages of menopause & I can't even turn my a/c down to a comfortable temp downstairs, she has hijacked our whole peaceful home with constant blaring sitcoms -gameshows-sports on tv down there constantly.

I am miserable & worse yet my husband spends more time with her than me. It's like I'm slowly disappearing I have tried talking to spouse but he doesn't see it or get it. I love him but what can I do?

I told him I can't have sex while she is in our house it freaks me out. I am resorting to turning my walk in closet in our bedroom (which is furthest away from her bedrooms side of house) into some kind of a sex room with a twin mattress in there.

I need advice my husband will not allow her to go into a care facility. She is cognitive & can still take care of herself & even go up & down stairs twice daily.

I love her she is sweet but constantly complains about her head, or body aches & how she doesn't feel right but ever time she goes to hospital or whatever they tell her nothing is wrong. I tell her if she just sits all day then of course She will hurt.

She stares into space a lot when I do hang out with her & she constantly flips channels on tv & just sits there all day long watching that tv glazed over.

I can't concentrate to work so I hide out upstairs husband doesn't get it because his life didn't change. I avoid at all costs bringing up anything about not feeling good, or even asking her how she she's doing because that just opens the floodgates to listen to her complain about everything.

I've tried engaging her to come outside on nice days but she prefers to be a recluse. I feel like I'm being suffocated if I spend too much time with her anym uore plus her sad & depressed demeanor just pulls me in or tries to suck me down her dark depressed tunnel of doom & gloom.

I probably sound like a horrible ungrateful daughter in law but I want my life back & my sex life back. Husband doesn't seem to think these are major problems refuses to go to marriage counseling. I know he loves me more than anything that's what hurts.

I'm now working on cleaning up my exercise room which is also upstairs to be more of a utility escape room for me complete with a mini fridge & microwave so I don't have to go down there for much more than cooking a meal, taking dogs out, going outside to also escape with them now that weather is cooling off.

I feel so self centered but my marriage is at stake now & my mental well being. I simply cannot handle the stress & responsibilities everything is in my shoulders trying not to drink too much but wine & beer help taken the edge off.

I hope God can forgive me but I am not cut out for this. There's a reason why we couldn't have children so I have hidden used to living in a quiet & peaceful home with harmony. Now it is all upside down. I am open to any suggestions good or bad.

One thing in am realizing is that if I do not let her hijack my day afternoon away from me I am more happy staying distanced upstsirs. I love music & listen to whatever I want all day up there whether I'm working or cleaning.

I'm not going to let her sad depression threshold of me it's like sometimes I envision a big dark gray cloud looming in my living room exactly over the loveseat which has become her Velcro seat. It'

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Check out a device called TV ears. We got that for my dad and it saved my mom's sanity. The blaring TV was immediately silenced. We bought two so she'd have a back up if he forgot to put them back in their charger.

As a bonus, when your Mother in law has her TV ears in, she won't be able to hear your bed squeak.

She really might be happier in an independent living situation with other elders. She must know she's not completely welcome in your home. Start looking for another option for her.
Helpful Answer (16)

First, (((hugs))) - sounds like you need them.

Second: you have nothing to feel guilty about. Your quiet life has been substantially changed, and part of what you're feeling is mourning for the life you had with your husband that you lost.

Why, exactly, did you move MIL in with you? Was it financial, or did she just need some more support?

There are several different ways you can go about dealing with this.

First option, continue the way you're going. Doesn't seem like a good idea, does it? I mean, it's 3:30 in the morning and you're on a caregiver support group, seeking help.

Second option, you can discuss with husband about doing some work around your house to convert part of the lower floor to a MIL suite, where she would have her own "space". Not knowing your house or financial situation, I don't know how feasible that is.

Third - and this is what I strongly recommend - you need to have, what is referred to here as a "come to Jesus" moment with your husband. You need to lay it out to him just like you laid it out to us.
"Honey, I love you. I know you love and worry about mom. I understand what our thinking was when we moved mom in with us. But this experiment is failing. I feel trapped in our home. I feel we have no privacy. I feel we have no intimacy. I cannot be comfortable enough with mom here to make love with you, and I am really missing that part of our relationship. It is very, very important to me. We need to discuss different living arrangements for mom, or I don't know how long I will last in this situation."

When you moved her in, what sort of discussions did you and hubby have? Did if occur to either of you that her care needs are only going to increase? Who will be responsible for the majority of her care as she becomes more and more dependent? You both need to be in agreement about this. It's not fair for him to assume you will shoulder the burden of caregiving. These are the topics you need to discuss with him, and sooner rather than later.

I know you feel like a hamster on a wheel right now. You can get off, but it is going to take some strength and fortitude on your side. I'm sorry I don't have an easier answer for you. I know how alone all of this can make you feel, and you have my prayers.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (14)

I think God, the all-knowing and all-compassionate, will forgive you for realising that this situation is not tolerable or sustainable for ANY of you three.

1. You. You are hiding out in your own home. You no longer feel welcome or free in it.
2. Him. Loving his mother and wanting the best for her, he is trying to be all things to her - host, protector, entire social circle, all on his own. Meanwhile he's losing his wife and making her miserable.
3. MIL. She is living in a place where most of the time she is alone, with only the tv for company; which is not, as a matter of fact, her familiar home; and where, with the best will in the world, the full-time caregiver does not want her - no matter how hard you strive to hide it from her, the vibes you give off will be felt. Would you want to live with someone feeling that your mere presence gave her a nervous tic? The truth will out, and the truth is that it is impossible not to be hostile to someone you don't want in your space.

I did a quick search, and there are five continuing care facilities near your town, apparently. I don't know what DH has against the idea of them - probably first of all that he falsely equates them with rejecting his mother - but I should begin by having a look at them. The goal to bear in mind is that you are looking for a better, more fulfilling, happier retirement life for HER. Do some fact-finding and see what's available. Then we can work on gradually bringing him AND HER round to a different perspective.

With Covid, you are of course going to have to have patience. This can't change overnight. But if you can see having MIL to look after as a fixed-term project -rather than oh dear God will this be forever? - it should make it easier to bear.

I feel for you on the loveseat. For me, it was the kitchen table, mother sitting there all morning with her newspaper and her sickly-smelling golden syrup oatmeal. But I repent my feelings about it now, you know. I'd much rather you and DH ended up with nothing to regret.
Helpful Answer (13)

If no progress, maybe it's time for a long weekend visit to an out of town friend or relative?

You get a break & some fun.

Your DH gets to feel how one version of his future could be - just him & his Mom. May get lonely...

Maybe he will decide to choose a different future & cut those apron strings a bit.

I know many 'Good Sons' who don't live with their Moms.
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CTTN55 Sep 2020
Yes, so many of those "good sons" are the ones that the mothers praise -- the mothers who live with the "bad daughters"!
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You are adults in your own home. If she doesn't like the sound then maybe she needs to think about finding a different home.

This is the one thing that you can give your husband that his mommy can not, it gives you the power, don't throw that away because she might hear you. Let her be uncomfortable, that is what happens when you live with other people in their home.
Helpful Answer (13)

My wife and I have the same problem. You and your husband need weekly respit. You both need to be on the same page. My wife and I go out to dinner once a week, on my mother-in-law. I would not let her control the temp in the house. If she's cold she can put a coat on. We are both sexually active and find that the only time we can be intimate is at night when she is sleeping. I do like your idea of turning the closet into a sex room. Why didn't I think of that.
We live in a ranch and her bedroom is on one end and ours is at the other end. Thank God Our bedroom has a sitting room where we find our personal time. Mother-in-law and her walker can't really make the trip.
Your husband need to step up and be opened minded. Who comes first? Let him stay home with his mother while you go out for a girls day out.
God Bless
Helpful Answer (10)

There are many very fine suggestions in the many comments made. I will add just one: Find a qualified counsellor for you and hubby. I emphasize QUALIFIED. Sort out the issues you have, plus those hubby has..(This is not a time to stint on expenses for such counselling.)

I wish you well.

Grace + Peace,

Old Bob
Helpful Answer (9)
cherokeegrrl54 Sep 2020
Wise words, sir....Liz
God doesn't need to forgive you for being human; He made you that way for a reason.

You're not self centered; you're longing to have your life back, which is perfectly understandable considering an intruder moved into your house & ruined your peace & harmony.

Why are you supposed to be a 'grateful' daughter in law? Grateful for WHAT, exactly? For being intruded upon by your mother in law?

Your statement, ".....husband doesn't get it because his life didn't change" says it all. His life will HAVE to change in order for him TO 'get it'. If he winds up with a depressed and angry wife, then his life will have changed. If you tell him you won't be there during the day to care for or entertain his mother, then HE will have to change his schedule to do the care giving/entertaining. And THAT will change his life. Sometimes it takes a wake up call for a person to wake up. His first clue that you're miserable should have been when you set up a sex-closet. Not that there's anything wrong with's just that you need privacy SO badly that you're needing to set up a closet to find it. That's not how things should be in one's OWN home.

You say your MIL is 'cognitive', then go on to say she won't go outside and sits in front of the TV set all day with a glazed look in her eyes. That doesn't sound like a high cognition level to me, frankly.

She doesn't need to go to a 'care facility' if she's able to care for herself. She can go into a senior Independent Living apartment that has a continuum of care; Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing on site as well so that she can move accordingly as needed, IF needed. It's not a sin or a crime for an elder to live independently. In fact, it's a good idea for ALL concerned, including HER. Who does SHE have to canoodle with while you're upstairs all day long trying to avoid her? Not that I blame you...........just saying. She's all alone during the day and has nothing to do except watch tv, you're miserable b/c she's usurped YOUR life and home, so who's winning here? Nobody.

Talk to DH and let him know just HOW upset and miserable you are. Offer to help him scout out various Independent Living places for his mom and then offer to help her get set up in one. You are not 'abandoning' are just helping her get set up to live her OWN life while you and your DH live YOUR lives. That's how things should be.

Wishing you the best of lucking having a real conversation with DH about your true feelings.
Helpful Answer (9)

Your house isn’t large enough for two families to occupy and have privacy. Either put an addition on your home or move. Find a home with in law space. You and your husband both work and haven’t incurred the expense of raising children so financially this shouldn’t be a problem. Regardless of the changes you make in the upstairs of your home, your home isn’t going to be your own. So change your home and give everyone the privacy they need.
Helpful Answer (8)

It appears you need to find better ways of coping other than creating an apartment in your home for yourself. It also appears that you and your husband need to regain a measure of privacy and your usual home life - good boundaries. Please, please see a counsellor to help you with these relationship matters. Please also see your primary care doctor. Perimenopause can create its own form of havoc. Short term hormone treatment may be able to alleviate your physical discomfort while creating a better life with your MIL in it.

As for mom, maybe she would do better going to an adult day program. She could interact with others and you can get work done. If you worked in an office, you would not be available to care for her while you were working. It may be considered inconsiderate - and extremely difficult - to expect you to do the job of caregiving while also working for a paycheck. You would then have to only deal with your MIL in the evenings. Create an apartment-like setting for her in your home instead of you creating one to hide away in. She can be with you both for meals and some social time, but then she can have her privacy (and you can have yours back) in the later hours.
Helpful Answer (8)
Toomush Sep 2020
My wife is going through some of the same issues right now. We take care of my 99 year old mother, after having taken care of both her parents, now passed on. My mother is blind, hard of hearing, and has short-term memory loss, along with an insistence that she has never been at fault for anything in her life. She insists on listening to news radio in either our dining room or the family room all day long and berates us gently for not having any work for her to do. She's terribly bored and , rather than regale us with stories from her past (she can't really remember, or remember a lot of words) she'd like us to entertain her all day. She was going to Daycare, but, since the Corona virus, they shut down in late February. We'd love a break, and my wife has no one to complain to but me. My only advice? Get out of the house and walk in nature places as often as you can, realizing that you're a good person and not alone. As soon as the country opens up again, get her to Daycare or into assisted living nearby. No matter what she says. And take your husband to counselling or go by yourself if he won't go with you.
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